Thursday, February 10, 2005

It's that time again kids (because we've got a lot of territory to cover)...

It's time for...


Instead of trying to do this in chronological order, I'm going to stick with a mystery theme to be revealed later (see if you can figure it out!).

This time around, The League investigates Knight Rider phenom Bonnie Barstow as portrayed by Patricia McPherson.

The lovely Patricia McPherson as Bonnie Barstow, world's greatest Jiffy-Lube employee.

Bonnie came into my life a few years on from Wonder Woman, when, I believe, I was maturing quite nicely in my taste in Dames. No longer did twirling seem to be such an attractive trait in a woman. Well, it was still important, but not as important.

So what did Bonnie have?

1) Bonnie didn't fall for Michael's nonsense. Sure, I loved Knight Rider, too, but I always thought Michael was sort of creepy. He showed more chest hair than I wanted to look at as an eight year old boy, and he usually spent the duration of most shows making goo-goo eyes at the dame of the week. And he was nice enough to Bonnie, and maybe a little flirty, but a) she didn't have badly frosted early 80's hair so Michael would never take her seriously, anyway, and b) she wasn't interested in his nonsense. You never once saw Bonnie show the slightest interest in Michael. No interest in creepy guy? Already I could feel the pitter-patter of my heart.

2) Hey, I was eight. I could not have cared less about Michael Knight's trials and tribulations. In fact, if the show had been about KITT and Dom DeLuise, I would have tuned in week after week just the same. For me, Knight Rider was about the Knight Industries Two-Thousand. And who was the genius behing K.I.T.T.? Bonnie Barstow.

Bonnie has trouble installing KITT's new 8-track.

Yes sir, Michael was just some jack-ass the Knight Foundation sent out there so draw fire away from their billion dollar, AI-infused car. Also, it would have been deeply suspicious if K.I.T.T. were zipping around southern California with no "driver" at the wheel. At the end of the day, those of us who knew the score knew that the Knight Foundation might as well have put a circus monkey in the cabin for all the good Michael did.

But, who had the brains and know-how to keep that car running? Surely not Michael (who was shot in the head in the pilot, as I recall). Nah, It was Bonnie who kept that show running. She was technically inclined and liked to chat it up with the talking car. My kind of lady.

Bonnie chats it up with KITT while replacing the windshield wiper-fluid.

3) They tried to replace Bonnie, and it didn't take. It's totally true. In the 1983-84 season, Bonnie wasn't on the show. I'm not sure why Bonnie bailed on KITT, or why Patricia McPherson wasn't on, but they brought in this sort of blonde woman to try to fill in for Bonnie. Rebecca Holden played fake -Bonnie April Curtis, but April just couldn't fill Bonnie's jumpsuit, and so, the next season, Bonnie triumphantly returned.

The evil, fake Bonnie, April Curtis, whose hair is a magnificent feat of architecture.

4) Bonnie apparently lived in the back of a semi, sort of like the truck in SpyHunter. Not only that, but she lived in the back of a semi which was constantly rolling, always nearby when needed, had every part conceivable to help fix KITT, and was always well-lit and spotlessly clean.

This is not to mention that the interior of the semi seemed to defy the laws of time and space, appearing to be much, much larger inside than outside.

One was, of course, left to wonder if the semi had a driver who had never taken a bathroom break, or if KITT's idiot cousin was up there muttering to himself.

5) No matter what, Bonnie's white jumpsuit always appeared spotless.

Sure, Bonnie had a lot of traits I didn't have at age 8. For example, had I had a white jump suit, it would have had Cheet-o finger stains down the front. But Bonnie was more than just another Jodie from The Fall Guy. Bonnie wasn't just eye-candy, she was also a mechanic and she was smarter than the rest of the morons on that show combined.

So a salute to Bonnie Barstow, finest TV mechanic to ever grace a white jumpsuit.

To read MORE about Bonnie, go here.

Go here to read up on Wonder Woman.

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